How to Remove Light Bulb from Recessed Socket Placements

How to Remove Light Bulb from Recessed Socket

How to Remove Light Bulb from Recessed Socket Placements

How to remove light bulbs from recessed sockets


Recessed lights, also known as canister or can lights, are lights that are on the ceiling of any building space. They are lights that are installed in a hollow space in the ceiling, which is a unique way and one of the modern ways of lighting a dim-lit area.

They give a more appealing aesthetic to the place where they emit the light than that of other open space lights like tube lights, hanging lights, bedside lamps, etc. They are also called downlights as they are downward facing.

The recessed lights are very appealing to look at as they give the illusion of lights shining through a hole from the ceiling above. They are used to create a highlighting effect in art studios to make the art look quite attractive to the buyer’s eyes.

They are popularly used in makeup mirrors to give a proper view of the makeup being done so that the makeup artist can check the quality of his work.

Lights, in general, are very easy to remove as they are usually fit in open spaces. The only problem one can face while removing lights in open spaces is that the lights may be hot due to continuous usage.

In the case of recessed lighting, the process of removing the light is very difficult because the lights are installed in a hollow opening. This way of installation makes it complex for people to put in their hands and remove the light bulbs.

Methods to remove light bulbs in case of recessed lighting

The removal of light bulbs from a recessed bulb is a tough task, so, there are different methods to remove light bulbs from recessed sockets. Here, we have given you a brief overview of these methods, so that you can quickly understand how to operate lights in recessed sockets better than before.

Removing light bulbs from recessed sockets with the help of duct tape

Duct tapes are effective adhesives and can be used as a medium to remove light bulbs from recessed sockets. The first and foremost thing that you have to remember is that the light bulbs get really hot when they are in use.

So, it is always recommended to wait for a few minutes before removing a light bulb from any kind of socket if the light bulb had been used recently. Once the light bulb has cooled, the process of removing the light bulb can be started.

The first step in removing a light bulb from a recessed lighting socket is to cut a 12 inch or 30-centimeter duct tape. Once the duct tape is cut, you need to fold both the ends towards the center to create a handle- like end for the duct tape.

After folding the ends for a good grip, stick the center part of the duct tape to the light bulb and start unscrewing the bulb. Usually, the unscrewing is done by tilting the light anti-clockwise. By repeating this process, a part of the bulb will be out of the hollow area of the socket.

Once you can hold the light bulb with your hand, you can unscrew it easily with your hands. This method is quite practical as it saves a lot of time. After the worn out bulb is removed from its socket, a new bulb has to be put in place of the old one to continue lighting the area where the socket is placed.

For replacing a new bulb the same action is used to screw the light bulb to the recessed socket. The process of replacing the old bulb with the new one is done in the opposite way to that of the process by which the old bulb is unscrewed from its socket.

Removal of light bulbs from recessed sockets by removing the retaining collar

In some recessed lighting types, the bulbs are held in place with the help of a retaining collar. Like the previous method, while removing bulbs in this method too, the bulbs should be allowed to cool for a while before the process is started.

Otherwise, the person trying to remove the bulb might burn their hands. The retaining collar is a metal collar that helps in holding the bulb in place. A ring-like object made of metal around the light bulb is the retaining metal collar.

The metal retaining collar, when not handled properly, will break. So, one must be very cautious in removing this retaining collar, as damaging the collar would lead to unnecessary repair charges.

The metal retaining collar may differ from one light fixture to another. In some fixtures, it might be the outer ring and in other light fixtures, it might be found in the second ring or inner ring. One needs to ascertain the outer and inner ring properly to avoid any damage to the light fixtures.

In many cases, people might have accidentally painted over the ring. When this happens, one has to remove the paint from the top of the ring carefully. Once the paint is successfully removed, the collar should be removed by either unscrewing the screws that are holding the collar in place.

In some cases, the ring is just in a place with the help of a button. When this button is the one holding the collar in place, the person has to press, hold or push the button to unlock the metal retaining collar.

When the metal retaining collar gets stuck in the light fixture, all a person has to do is use a utility knife or screwdriver in the crack that is available between the metal retaining collar and the light fixture.

Then one needs to apply a little pressure to open the collar without breaking it. By doing the above steps a retaining collar can be removed which in turn helps in removing the light bulb.


The methods to remove light bulbs from recessed sockets may vary, but the person removing the light bulb should always be careful and cautious, because a single wrong move done by the person may damage the light fixture itself, or break the light bulb which is not an ideal situation.

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